NYC-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > NYC-ROOTS > 2000-03 > 0954035727
From: Joan Hartman <>
Subject: Re: [NYC] Telling people apart?
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 17:55:27 -0800
Perhaps the difference in their ages or birth places might give you a
Jim Donnelly wrote:
> The story in my family for at least two generations is that a fellow
> called Michael Cotter entered the 10th New York Volunteer Infantry
> from Mott Haven. During the war he met a man called Emmett
> McLaughlin, who brought some of his war buddies home to Staten Island
> to marry his sisters. Michael Cotter married my great-grandmother,
> Annie McLaughlin, and remained in the County of Richmond.
> I've had twinges of doubt about that story over the years, for two
> reasns: (1) Why would he have stayed on Staten Island after his
> marriage instead of going back home to Mott Haven? (2) There seem to
> have been very few Staten Islanders in the 10th New York; I wondered
> how likely it is that Emmett McLaughlin would have met him during the
> war and got to know him well enough to bring him home to marry his
> sister if they were not in the same outfit.
> On Friday I found another Michael Cotter, this one a Staten Islander,
> who served in Co. K, 156th Regiment, NY Vols. I suppose my next step
> is to get his service record from NARA, because I've learned that old
> family stories don't amount to much, but then what? How do I decide
> which (if either) of these two Michael Cotters was my
> Suggestions most gratefully accepted.
> Jim Donnelly
> Hyattsville, Maryland
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